New report analyses armed forces recruitment marketing

By agency reporter
February 28, 2019

Forces Watch has published a report with the public health charity Medact: Selling the military: A critical analysis of contemporary recruitment marketing. The report analyses the way the armed forces market their careers to adolescents and young people, creating powerful messages which exploit developmental vulnerabilities and social inequality, risking the health and well-being of recruits. Narratives of camaraderie and self-development also serve to promote an uncontroversial and depoliticised idea of the military more widely.

The report calls for military marketing campaigns to be evaluated and regulated in line with recent developments in medical understanding of adolescent psychologies, how young people are more vulnerable to sophisticated marketing techniques, and in the context of recent research on the risks associated with military recruitment for young recruits in particular.

It recommends that the interests of the youngest recruits would best be safeguarded by raising the age of recruitment to 18. It also makes recommendations for increasing accountability, transparency and critical awareness around military marketing.

The report was launched on 27 February 2019 at a public meeting with paediatric doctor and TV presenter Dr Guddi Singh, Rhiannon Spear who, as National Convenor of the youth wing of the SNP led a successful motion to make raising the military recruitment age to 18 SNP party policy, and Dr Victoria Basham, Editor-in-Chief of the Critical Military Studies journal.

* Read the report Selling the military here

* Read Adverse health effects of recruiting child soldiers by Reem Abu-Hayyeh and Guddi Singh here

* ForcesWatch


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